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Karl David Nolph, Feb. 6, 1937 — June 16, 2014, of Columbia

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | 2:44 p.m. CDT; updated 5:15 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Karl David Nolph MD, 77 of Columbia passed away at home June 16, 2014.

Services will be held at 2:00 pm Friday, June 20, 2014 at Missouri United Methodist Church, visitation to follow.

Karl was born February 6, 1937 in Brookville, PA to Harry and Mary Nolph. He married Georgia Bower July 26, 1961 in Appleton, MN. Dr. Nolph was an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of nephrology and dialysis. His world-renowned research on kidney disease and development of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) transformed the field, and has helped countless patients lead healthier, self-sufficient lives.

Nolph graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, with a degree in chemistry. He was a member of the concert and marching bands and Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Nolph attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and residency at Bryn Mawr Hospital, PA. From 1967 to 1969, he served in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and General Hospital.

From 1972-1974 Nolph was the chair of the Department of Medicine at the Harry S. Truman VA Hospital. In 1974, Nolph was named Chief of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Missouri, a position he held 25 years. He served as the Loren E. Broaddus, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Curators’ Professor Emeritus of Medicine, and there is a faculty chair named in his honor. The University of Missouri has recognized Nolph with the Chancellor’s Research, Presidential Research, Sigma Nu Research, Faculty Alumni, Distinguished Faculty, Byler Distinguished Professor, and Honorary Member of Medical Alumni Organization Awards. The University of Pennsylvania recognized Nolph with the A.N. Richard’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Franklin and Marshall College presented Nolph with the Alumni Citation for Distinguished Achievement Award.

Nationally, he received the American Society of Nephrology’s Belding H. Scribner Award, the American Kidney Fund’s National Torchbearer Award, and National Kidney Foundation Lifetime Award. Internationally, he was named an Honorary Fellow by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Scotland. Nolph was the President of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis, member of the Italian Nephrology Society; received the International Society for Hemodialysis’ Belding Scribner Trailblazer Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Vicenza Award. He was a founding member of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis, serving as North American delegate to the council, vice president, and president. Nolph served as president of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs.

Although retired, Nolph continued to be active in the field, helping to organize and chair the Annual Dialysis Conference, which attracts thousands of participants from around the globe, as he had done yearly since 1979.

Nolph gave more than 900 national and international presentations, published more than 600 articles, and chaired more than 165 national and international meetings. He authored or edited 38 books, including Peritoneal Dialysis (the definitive textbook in the field), served on 24 editorial boards, and earned six patents. However, his career is best viewed in the context of the countless number of patients he has helped working with a spirit of fervent caring and exemplary humanism.

He considered his greatest accomplishment to be his family, to which he gave his highest priority. He modeled this personal value to those with whom he worked. Music was an important part of his life. He played his trumpet in multiple marching, concert, and swing bands and enjoyed playing trumpet-piano duets with his wife. He enjoyed singing in church choirs locally and in Canada. Post-retirement, he fell in love with Nova Scotia and spent several months there each year.

He is survived by: his wife, Georgia Nolph, M.D., children Erika (Bruce) Ringdahl, M.D., Columbia, MO and Kristopher (Michelle) Nolph, D.D.S., Jefferson City, MO, and grandchildren Shelby, Sydney, and Karson Ringdahl, Madison and Ian Nolph.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Missouri United Methodist Church or The University of Missouri School of Medicine, Division of Nephrology.


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